Tinris, The Adventures of the Crew of the Bright Star

Tinris Interseason

On day 251 – 303 Law, Marime discovers a heretofore unknown passage leading down from what was previously believed the lowest basement.

Marime, in a state of no small amount of boredom and in a state of aroused curiosity on hearing of the Temple of a now-snuffed potential Goddess, stumbles upon an illusion-masked door in the Temple to Arvana Sanys. After listening at it, hearing wind and water, he makes way quickly upstairs to inform other members of the group. First encountered, Glorian and Sheeba in the Grand Library. After being notified of this, they begin heading upstairs as Marime sprints up the stairs to find others.

In short order, he finds Moz and Joshua in the dining area – Moz idly writing down a lengthy dissertation on Wildspace travel while Joshua suns himself near the pillar of superheated light. It’s quickly decided that the door would be investigated, and Joshua wakes and subsequently informs Aika of the plan. While they both get geared up, Moz continues writing, Gnimish, Goh and Ismek (all in their proper respective places) continue sleeping, Itsasne proceeds with her morning greeting of the sun and Glorian leads Sheeba down to the base of the stairs in preparation of the exploration of the door and what lies on the other side thereof.

After a short excursion, a horde of four score zombies is found and in short order – mostly by the graces of one Aika Coppergate – dispatched. A bit of party shuffle finds Klava at a mostly rotted door with a bit too much anger, and after barreling through the door and finding only decaying supply crates, he is poisoned by smashing one such crate. Pushing on, the group find an octagonal room with a loose floor panel concealing some treasure. Beyond, a hallway leading to another supply closet – this one filled with unlabeled bottles, phials and flasks. Further still, a room of twelve sealed wooden cases. One is opened, at range, by Gnimish’s skill with remote lock manipulation and proves to be filled only with dirt. Moz, ever alert, realizes that it is likely that this is the sign of vampiric habitation and brings forth Sheba to magically view for such. After an extended skirmish with both a vampiric troll and a vampiric halfling, the party sends for more healing.

Undaunted, and freshly restored, the crew push further into the delve and find what Brother Joshua eventually identifies to be Dawntime Era Orcish script. The opposite tunnel leads deeper still, to a disused cistern and a wall showing signs of recent – within the last several centuries – use of a concealed passage. Continuing, they come to the first taunting puzzle chamber. Four busts each with a placard, and when properly appeased these guardians open the way forward, a giant metal plug screwed deeply into the floor.

Another puzzle room is revealed beyond, and quickly played to rest as four elemental barriers fall before the collective wit of the group. And another puzzle beyond in the form of six multi-colored statues which prove to animate into Caryatid Columns. Once destroyed, only one final statue remains with further puzzlement in store for the group. Ismek, ready to set out to scout for traps, realizes the human limitations of his eyesight and, by chance alone, finds himself possessed of a wish by which to correct these shortcomings. Sheba augurs correctly and they all proceed down the correct set of stairs into the next area – with Ismek plying his thiefly trade and disarming a lethal trap halfway down.

The hallway beyond is strewn with gold and trinkets aplenty and a carved stone face with gaping maw at the end. Ismek again triumphs over another deadly trap, this one a killing floor of balances and weights wherein the ceiling would flatten anyone so hapless as to trigger the trap.

Klavia, bored, investigates the next room. A burial chamber for someone in lavish regalia, bearing a sword, a crown, a ring and a scroll. Klavia, after genuflecting before this regal figure, claims the greatsword and realizes its inherent superiority over the rapier he’d been loaned after the destruction of his last blade to the Columns. Gnimish investigates the mouth and pockets a candle and a spellbook – cursed, unfortunately – before the jaws snap shut on his summoned tentacles. Upon having his attention caught by Klavia, the pocket archmage investigates the bier. The ring seizes on his attention first and upon slipping it from the body’s finger, it slides onto his. In a flash, Gnimish finds that the ring was also cursed, swapping male Gnomish anatomy for female. Not at all taken aback, after having Moz assist with the refitting of armor and gear, she snags the crown from the figure’s head and finds herself dominated by its sinister power. Destruction she will bring, by her own hand, unto the party.

Through a bit of misdirection, Gnimish vanishes and sends forth an illusion to lure Ismek up the other set of trapped stairs. Too late the realization hits the rogue, followed by the hundreds of razor sharp blades concealed behind the walls of the staircase. Moz, right behind, snatches up the seriously injured human and rebounds down the stairs just in time to avoid triggering another round. With Itsasne’s divine aid, the boy’s wounds are tended promptly and with Moz and Marime standing guard, the Admiral sends the rest – Brother Joshua, Klavia, Aika and Sheba ahead. With Gnimish bringing up the rear and the end. Gnimish’s Staff calls forth a Nalfeshnee to waylay Aika just as Klavia’s eyes lock onto the statue, triggering the berserking quality of his newfound weapon of choice. Joshua’s armor deflects the first blows of the fight, Sheba cries out the alarm and raises an obscuring mist as the demon charges the rear. This, however, is merely but a distraction as Gnimish loses more and more control and quickly finds the destructive urges coursing her mind turning not only towards her boon companions, but to herself. Rushing into the rear flank of the party, Gnimish breaks her Staff of the Magi. In an instant, the space between breaths, Joshua, Klavia, Aika, Sheba and Gnimish are all destroyed in the outpouring energies of a retributive strike.

This brings Moz running at full speed, brought up short as the top of the stairs and much of the floor beyond is a smoking crater in the wake of the destruction. Uncertain as to the fate of his charges, he directs Ismek to disarm the trap that had laid him low and focused on getting his team upstairs to take stock of the casualties.

Tinris, Season Two - episode three

Meanwhile, back on Tinris and in the depths of the Tower of Arvana Sanys, Gnimish, Elwood and Glorian have been enjoying some unstructured time to themselves. Gnimish has put on some weight and begun to appreciate creature comforts in a heretofore unknown capacity… all the while staging a guerilla war of pranking on Elwood. Elwood has been studying parts of the Tower between incursions on Gnimish and Glorian has been devouring all manner of arcane lore.

It is into this setting that Father Au, ranking High Priest of Barnatim, arrives and drops the news of not only the abduction of Ilfandra, but the disappearance of the rest of the crew. After a short burst of activity, a routine of scrying and studying is undertaken. Father Au binds an Axiomite named Theta Sigma – a creature of pure law – to the Tower as a guardian and begins sending out entreaties for assistance from other members of the various faiths of Tinris.

On the tenth (at least to the Tinrisian perspective of time) such day, Moz and company arrive on a strangely tiled landing of the Infinite Staircase. A strange cabinet of glass, wood and metal which seems to have some sort of bubbles trapped within it begins playing loud music in English – a language plainly understood only by Moz and Aika – and a recorded image of a svelte man crooning into a wand is broadcast in front of the case. The door of this landing is a swinging door made of a light metal, through which the party boldly pass after a moment’s examination of the strange magical musical device.

Upon their entry onto a Prime Material Plane, Moz is immediately spotted by Father Au’s scrying and within moments a rescue effort is mounted. Father Au conjures a Gate through which Gnimish gestures to Moz. As the Gate appears over a previously mundane appearing mirror, Moz scrambles the group into battle readiness before realizing its exact purpose.

In short order, the crew are once more reunited. Father Au explains that the Bright Star herself is already en route back, but will not be returning to Tinrisspace for at least 100 days. Brother Joshua and Arturus are laid in state and the circumstances of their demise presented. As the Orcish High Priest hadn’t prepared for this eventuality, he begins to send further requests to the many faiths in search of someone able to return Brother Joshua and Arturus to their non-deceased states.

Before long, a member of the Gathering of the Green, a dwarf by the name of Bolana Blode. Arturus declines the request for reincarnation, choosing instead the idyllic life of a new resident to the Beastlands. Brother Joshua is less reticent, and returns in the body of an elven female. Realizing quickly her situation, the new Sister departs quickly for elsewhere in the Tower to bathe in the transformative waters of one of the many magical baths therein. The druid takes her leave moments later.

As Brother Joshua finds his manhood again, the rest of the party catch up on the goings on both at home and abroad. Father Au reiterates the gravity of the situation with the missing Goddess and it is decided that the group will call in whatever reinforcements are available and lick their wounds.

Morning finds the party scattered through the Tower, but mostly ready for the task ahead. Elwood mentions that there is a potential solution for their paladin to be restored his humanity and sets to as the rest of the party gather.

Across the continent, other things are in motion. A young, yet wise, halfling cleric of Ilfandra has found herself back in the Dwarven capital of Lake Umfula after partaking of several strange and dark portents. The brighter of the suns, Adris, has started visibly dimming and her miraculous abilities seem… different somehow. Upon arrival in Lake Umfula, Itsasne finds a convocation of many faiths already underway. Ilfandra’s disappearance is revealed, as is a plan by the crew of the Bright Star to rescue her, volunteers are being sought even now. The ranking member of her own church calling her to the fore, Itsasne promptly volunteers. It is made yet further clear that a ship of the line, the Agreement Champion – flagship of the World Navy, will arrive on the morrow to ferry forth any recruits to the Tower directly. A cloaked and hooded figure reveals herself as Ilfandra’s Herald Messenger by providing Itsasne with a divinely charged weapon of her Goddess and then taken for a walkabout by the Revered Mother to answer any questions and set her affairs in order before riding on the Abyss.

After an afternoon and evening gearing up and girding her faith about her, the young cleric sallies forth for a day of many firsts. Upon arriving at the docking site for the spelljammer, Itsasne is met by a young cleric of Makati Wahari, the Tinrisian goddess of time. The two converse very briefly before being ushered up the gangplank. Provided with a copy of the current Spacefarer’s Handbook, a tome written by the admiral for newcomers to space, she retires to quarters feeling perhaps a bit out of her element.

As motivation spreads through the crew, the Agreement Champion touches down, pitching Itsasne to the deck as gravity planes do unusual things to the erstwhile groundling’s senses and sensibilities. The ship is met promptly by Admiral Moz himself who springs into a surprise inspection, much to the chagrin of her crew. As the Admiral makes himself busy, introductions are made and Itsasne begins to feel more – not less – out of place in this coterie. However, as Aika introduces herself, things begin to feel a bit more comfortable. A meal is proposed, seconded and moved downstairs as Gnimish meanders upstairs to memorize his spells for the day ahead.

The plot fully rotates and the young-seeming messenger of Makati Wahari explains the fully gravity of the course undertaken. Simply put, that the principal star of Tinris will be extinguished in one month’s time without the influence of the Pantheon’s head deity. All is not lost, even should this come to pass, she reassures, pledging the full support of the remaining pantheons of Tinris in a concerted effort to sustain life on the world. She then departs, piquing Gnimish’s interest for a moment before vanishing completely into the flow of time once more.

The party reassembled, it is determined that they all set forth immediately. Father Au, along with Glorian, provide some insight into the journey ahead and then Gates the entire group – leaving only himself, Glorian and Goh to remain at the Tower – to Lost Carisar.

Arriving in a large, dimly lit chamber, the party draws themselves up to charge into the Infinite Staircase at the far end. Brother Joshua, in possession of and soon possessed by a magical mace, is having none such. Screaming out in an unknown tongue of millenia long forgotten, he charges to meet the oncoming undead shadows which now move from their places of concealment. Elwood moves to cover while declaring the event. Moz, thinking as quickly as is his prerogative, draws down a pistol and blasts the mace from Brother Joshua’s hands – leaving the paladin to wonder dazedly what had transpired. Mop up of the shadows is quick and efficient as the party moves to the door. A slick, slippery material of bright pink with a similar black handle, greets them and welcomes them back to the planes-transcending Infinite Staircase.

After several brief misadventures on the Stair itself, the crew find themselves on a tremendous landing which seems to house an entire tent city which locals call the “Nowhere Inn”. Preparing to make way quickly, the group pause to find a guide and meet an ogre mage named Ceylow. Initially distrusting such an obvious resolution, Moz bypasses this option and instead seeks out the nearest representative of Hell. While the rest of the party converse with one of the Stair’s guardians, a lillend named Sareena, Moz engages in converse, negotiation and agreement with a demure and well-mannered pit fiend for the most direct route to the doorway leading to the realm of Graz’zt. Upon reaching an arrangement which endangers no souls or persons of import, a tiefling guide is called forth and directions given.

Tinris, Season Two - episode two

After a bit of a pause, during which the group take on supplies and enjoy a quick meal, the crew form up and begin exploring their very strange surroundings. The building seems to be the home of a magus of no small power, whose name Moz remembers as Murlynd. In exploring the house, they find this Murlynd’s library and study. Ismek finds and pockets a strange book which Arturus identifies as “hey, that’s about my home”.

In short order, the party finds themselves at the front door of the place. Without further delay, they proceed outside and into the pleasant afternoon sunlight of a tranquil clearing. From outside, it’s clear that this house is very luxurious indeed. Its grounds trail off into a path that leads east towards a garden, flowers of enormous size plainly visible even from this distance. Moz forms the party into a marching order and they troop off towards yon garden. The garden itself is beautiful and very well tended, even in the absence of its master, the archmage. Without exploring the garden, the group changes path and heads for a hill that is visible to the south.

After pausing briefly at the hill, the group decided to head further south, towards what seems to be a river and an island beyond. Only to find themselves back at the garden of giant flowers. Several more attempts are made at going further south past the hill, only succeeding when they determine to head north instead. Arriving at the river, they peer across at a square – obviously well groomed – island of copses and grassy patches, all neatly arranged in perfect squares and bounded by rivulets. With time passing all too quickly for Moz’s pleasure, they try and find a way across and are interrupted as Goh finds and then waddles over to a partially concealed boat.

The boat easily large enough to carry the entire group, everyone scrambles in with only a moment’s pause on the part of Arturus to inquire as to what, precisely, a boat was. With Brother Joshua manning the oars, the party progresses against the current for a distance before allowing it to bring them around. After wild rapid ride with the current, protested greatly by the company’s august ursine, one and all find themselves beached with the boat taking on water at the edge of what seems a vast ocean.

In the distance, but approaching at a decent clip, a pair of most unusual companions – the walrus and the carpenter. The crew disembark their sinking vessel and draw down on the seemingly harmless duo, who explain promptly that they are the victims of a most cruel geas. Unable to carry their work of harvesting pearls due to having transgressed against one of this place’s archmagi. They are now completely unable to come within ten feet of salt water, and are much saddened by this. With some amount of persuasion, Moz – accompanied by Ismek and Arturus set out to sea by a spare boat which the pair had used previously.

Once out to a rise in the ocean’s shelf, the clams become clearly visible. Moz and Arturus dive in, leaving Ismek to cover their flanks from the boat. In moments, the pair become embroiled in a life or death struggle to survive as the clams attempt to grapple and drown both the bear and the dwarf. Faring well against their molluscine opponents, though taking a fair clip from the bivalves, they surface with two extraordinarily high quality pearls just as Ismek has decided to dive in after.

Back ashore, the rest of the party find that their innocuous ‘friends’ aren’t what they seem. The walrus begins the festivities by magically _suggesting _that Aika go in after her friends and find out what’s taking them so long. Shaking off the compulsion, Aika promptly draws on the pinniped and attacks. As Moz and company return, the fray is joined in earnest and blood is spilt all around. Nonetheless, the heroes win the day and render the walrus incapacitated and his companion dead before moving quickly on. Claiming the pair’s boat as spoils, the crew climbs aboard and begins to row up the coast as the sun begins to set.

After a brief pause for Arturus to catch some fish, the band find themselves approaching a beach. On the beach and perhaps sunning itself is a creature unlike any that they have yet seen, a mock turtle. The beast approaches diffidently and with a pleasant explanation that it is the victim of a demented archmage’s anger. Once a true dragon turtle, the poor creature is now equal parts dragon turtle and gorgon. Moz approaches very cautiously as the turtle further explains that it would like its original form back – entreating the crew to aid in this restoration. In return, they may keep whatever treasure they find in its lair, bringing back only a stoppered flask which will supposedly return the turtle to its original form.

With direction from the mock turtle, Ismek and Moz partake of some magical seaweed and gain the ability to breathe water as air and set forth to find the turtle’s underwater lair and its treasure. With little event, save a minor scuffle with a quartet of giant crabs, they find the lair and its attendant treasure chest. Per previous instruction, the rest of the coterie dive in after thirty minutes have passed and arrive as Moz and Ismek finish a survey of the lair. The cover for the chest is slid back and the treasure within revealed. Much in the way of shiny objects are within, as well as the flask containing the mock turtle’s ‘cure’. After claiming the bulk of the treasure, and the flask, Moz delves deeper still and finds a second flask. Uncertain of intentions and reality itself in this place, he secretly pockets this flask and tells noone.

As one and without event, the group return to the surface to find the turtle – and unseen, its companion griffin – awaiting. In fairly short order, the Captain uncorks the flask and frees its captive marid. The genie awaits instruction, holding its wish until Moz directs it to restore the mock turtle to the form of a true dragon turtle. It does and then dissipates into the waves as the turtle thanks Moz for his integrity before swimming peaceably away.

After a short break, everyone is directed off the beach and towards a southern path that cuts through the intimidating treeline which borders the beach in an otherwise unbroken line. Upon taking the path, the party soon find themselves in a pleasantly moonlit clearing with the griffin. Said griffin explains that this is his home and while he appreciates the party’s successes in restoring his friend the turtle, he knows they want to be on their way. He provides a bit of information and the group hurry along.

Reaching an intersection of paths, one leading towards an imposing building and the other towards a clearing, Moz pushes the party towards the clearing. Aika, however, catches a subtle movement in the trees lining the path mere moments before a pair of lycanthropic rats waylay the party. Sounding the alarm, Aika joins the melee with her usual eagerness. The shifters split and tear into the group, one meeting Aika’s assault while the other scores a bite on Goh. With the marching line in slight disarray and quickly folding in on itself to respond to this threat, another bite is scored on Brother Joshua. The fight is short and brutal, but the party suffers no significant loss. Moz explains a bit about lycanthropy and Brother Joshua offers succor to Goh before the group resumes marching order and makes for the clearing.

The clearing ahead seems idyllic and more importantly, empty. Rose trees line the main expanse and Moz takes a moment to examine an odd little hoop in the grass. While entering the clearing, Ismek notices that the roses born on the surrounding trees have a certain metallic quality to them. Investigating further, he finds that one of the blooms is made of pure gold! Without a second thought, he uses his blade to cut loose the blossom…

In the distance, though clearly heard by all, a voice cries out “THIEVES!! Thieves in the Queen’s Garden!” Moz looks up from the croquet hoop which had held his attention but a moment and Brother Joshua sighs, remarking to his Captain “Where’s Ismek?” From the path they had just quit, the sounds of many booted feet can be heard. Thinking quickly, Moz orders Brother Joshua to step to with him while directing the rest of the band in the opposite direction. As the first foot soldiers – humans dressed in strange livery with the markings of playing cards – breaches the path, Aika’s contingent find an archway into a long hall.

Within mere seconds, the first wave of soldiers fall. Brother Joshua bandies forth that he feels superfluous in comparison to Moz before the sounds of reinforcements coming up the path can be heard. As Aika takes to wing to investigate the combat, now over but soon joined again, Arturus scoops up Goh and Ismek takes to a run as a throaty woman’s voice cries out “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!” A certain feeling of deja vu grips Moz as he readies for the next assault.

Brother Joshua and Moz square off with determination against the three approaching enemies. A woman in plate and the insignia of the Queen of Hearts emblazoned thereon; a gnome with a proper crown upon his brow; and a grimly attired man wearing an executioner’s hood and carrying an ebony greataxe. In the first seconds of combat, the captain and the paladin strike several significant blows. The Queen becomes more and more apoplectic with each passing moment, reaching forth with a gauntleted hand to seize Moz’s arm. The feeling of death’s proximity washes over the dwarf, a sickening and wrenching feeling which he throws off with the grim determination which has allowed his expansive lifespan to continue.

As Aika approaches, intent upon cutting the gnome in twain, she feels a curious gripping sensation wash over her as he gestures in a manner most arcane. The feeling fades quickly even as she brings the sword down in a massive arc, sadly missing as the small man sidesteps and readies another spell. Seconds later, the remainder of the party rushes in – leaving only Goh to mind the flank in her delicate state. The crew surges forward, victory seemingly assured. Nonetheless, Aika is subjected to her greatest nightmare, courtesy of the King’s illusions. Wildspace reaches out to surround and engulf her, smothering her to the verge of death before the resilient warrior woman finds her fortitude sufficient, shaken but by no means dead. A moment later, even as Brother Joshua flails ineffectually at his opponent; Moz lands a solid series of blows; Ismek moves to flank Joshua’s foe; and Arturus to flank Aika’s – the Queen discharges a burst of holy energy and restores precious life to the wounded of both sides.

At this moment, the tide seems to change. Aika is struck blind mere moments before Arturus rushes her opponent but nonetheless Moz finishes the Red Queen in a flurry of wrathful strikes. Arturus, however, fares less well against his own personal nightmare. In an illusory strike of parn, destructive insects from his homeworld, the mighty bear falls dead of fright. In a commanding voice backed by the power of wish magic, the King promptly restores life to his fallen Queen and the battle resumes. Ismek and Joshua seem to have the executioner well under control, only to find the fell power of his axe is that it can easily carry out the Queen’s orders. Brother Joshua’s head is cut clear of his neck, rolling in the grass as would a child’s marble. Ismek does his job, despite his fear, and finishes the hooded man with a thrust of sword into vitals as Aika takes the sky to try and rid herself, in vain, of the blinding magics of the King.

Moz again returns the Queen to a nonliving condition and looks around to find Arturus apparently napping; Joshua decapitated and the King having vanished. Unleashing a blast from a wand of ice storms, he sounds the retreat even as reinforcements can be heard again on the path. Bundling the corpses of bear and Brother alike, the party falls back to the long hall as Goh provides suppression fire quite literally to make good their escape.

Once in the hall, it is merely a matter of figuring out which door goes where before the party are swept up into the egress from Dungeonland and deposited, much to Moz’s consternation, at the base of an elaborate staircase. The rest of the party being so deposited and the landing secured, Ismek hears the approach of music and sounds the alarm. Moz takes the stair, still partially convinced they are still within the demi-plane holding Dungeonland. A creature heretofore unseen, with the torso of a beautiful woman playing a harp and the lower body of a brightly colored serpent, welcomes them to the Infinite Staircase and explains calmly that she has been expecting them…

Tinris, Season Two - episode one
Welcome to Dungeonland!

The_ Bright Star_ is sixty ship days out from Refuge; where she parted ways with the other vessels of the World Navy. Aboard is Admiral Mozdanhorzon, Ismek (still adjusting to the new “maturity”), Arturus (who spends much of his time sleeping on the bridge), Aika Coppergate (who has now begun a sexual relationship with Brother Joshua, who is also aboard ship), and Goh, who is now showing some early signs of her pregnancy (a fact which has become generally known amongst the crew). The Bright Star is bound for Spirespace, which Moz is hoping to visit once more before comitting more fully to his duties as Admiral of the World Navy (though he is likely to try to recruit his ‘brothers’ – Olias, Mesrothsenes, and Dale, even though he doubts they’ll take him up on it.)

About halfway there and making very very good time, the Bright Star informs the Admiral that she will need to set down on an Earthbody soon to recover water and nutrients and then “sun” herself. Given a choice of traveling to Grayspace or Krynnspace, Moz directs her to Grayspace, where they picked up Gnimish originally. Some four hours after entering the crystal sphere, the ship clears the grinder and approaches Oerth, taking a long scenic approach round the two moons.

Moz suggests landing to the west of where they had picked up Gnimish on the basis of there being less habitation – he’s looking to negate any possible surprises. Nonetheless both Ismek and Arturus are expressing their need to be dirtside for a bit – both of them miss “sky”. It’s decided everyone will put down for the duration (Bright Star herself suggests that the stopover will last about two days). The ship sets down in the Northwestern Flanness and the crew disembarks. It’s night time here, the moon is full, and they are in the midst of a forest (though within a substantial clearing). The crew, as one, opt to camp outside in the ship’s shadow.

Each of them have disturbing dreams and nightmares – in Moz’s case, he dreams that the party wakes in the foyer of the Amber Mansion – a memory from so very long ago. Waking from that, and the disorientation that it causes, he begins the process of waking the rest of the crew – when an earsplitting high pitched whine and shower of colour wakes everyone. A gate or portal of some kind is opening only dozens of feet away.

The group scrambles into alertness – to be greeted by what appears to be Father Au emerging from the portal. Moz telepathically confers with the Bright Star and asks her to confirm the new arrival’s identity. Having done so, he relaxes somewhat.

In uncharacteristically short and choppy sentences, the High Priest of Barnatím explains that one of the High Priestesses of the Sunlighter has been taken by visions and portents most dire. Specifically, that during a routine inspection of the Great Gate of Oryton Ilfandra was captured by the Demon Prince, Graz’zt. She is believed held somewhere in his triple realm in the Abyss. Further, he explains that the Demon Prince will be expecting retaliation and will most assuredly be watching for rescuers that approach in any typical manner. It is commonly accepted among the higher echelons of the churches of Tinris that an approach that uses the Infinite Staircase – a dimension and planar transcendental path of transit – might allow rescuers to enter the Abyss unnoticed.

Grimly, Moz makes the command decision to go after the godddess. Obviously the _Bright Star _can’t and won’t be coming with them, so he leaves Brother Joshua command of the ship and bid him to take it back to Tinris. He, and presumably Aika (who has recently been appointed the Ilfandra’s personal champion) will be riding on the Abyss. Everyone else is only coming on a volunteer basis…save for Goh. Moz explains that he’s not normally fond of such acts of chauvanism but bringing a pregnancy into the Infinite Layers of the Abyss is just asking for trouble (he sites tales of the unborn becoming possessed and ripping their way free). Thus, Arturus (who has no desire to go sit on the ship for another several months), and Ismek will be accompanying them as well. Whilst discussion ensues regarding how best to find the Infinite Staircase in Grayhawk City, Moz travels up to his room to gather the remainder of his gear. He gives the Bright Star very specific instructions to interrogate anyone that comes back claiming to be him and then, in a flash of insight, approaches the Mirror acquired in the Tower of Arvana Sanys to duplicate himself for the next twenty four hours.

Approaching the mirror he speaks the command word and…is somewhere else. A wood paneled study with various collectibles scattered haphazardly across the room. A room with six doors out. A room that he has found himself in twice before. Dungeonland.

Meanwhile, a panicked Bright Star telepathically informs the crew that her Captain is gone! The crew rushes aboard ship, led by Aika, asking questions and being informed as to what has transpired. The dryad avatar of the Bright Star manifests in his room and duplicates what precisely he did…

Moz checks his memory and tries to reason through what has happened. His dream now seems to be taking on a symbolic – possibly prescient – quality. The Abyss and now he’s back here after all this time. Could, he wonders, some old enemy be coming after him? The realization begins to sink in that the missing page from Arvana Sanys’ apotheotic book was sent to the Abyss and this sets him wondering if this has all been set into motion by their actions.

...and the crew, Brother Joshua, Goh, Aika, Ismek, and Arturus flip over into the room that Mozdanhorzon now occupies. Moz immediately begins barking out commands and in general not being very forthcoming with information. They move through the next two rooms, a dining room and then a kitchen of some form – thus confirming, to Moz at least – that they are where he thinks they are, whereupon he announces “Welcome to Dungeonland!”

Tinris, Season Two - Prologue

It takes the three ships 75 days to travel from Tinrispace to Refuge’s crystal sphere, with pauses for navigational fixes (without entering the spheres of) at Darnannon and Pirtel.

On board the ship bearing his namesake at this time, Moz draws up blueprints for a “ship’s clock” (a clockwork mechanism to keep track to time simultaneously via world time, navy time, and also – most importantly – to keep ships in an action on simultaneous time. One young ork spacehand takes an interest in the Admiral’s strange drawings, and so Moz explains them, to some degree.

Aboard Goh’s namesake vessel, it is later revealed, she gets herself knocked up.

On the Bright Star, Aika and Joshua … vigorously pursue their relationship. Also, while Arturus and Ismek grow closer (much as Arturus and the three blink dogs do – to him, they’re just three other members of the same crew), Aika begins formally training Ismek in swordplay, in particular the use of the longsword he has inherited.

Aika’s attempts to engage Arturus in “sparring” are laughable, bordering on the maddening. Once it’s explained that she means “fight for fun” he’s prone to ditching his weapons and tackling her…as would, say, a bear do.

Ismek sees to the ship’s fabrication of a harness for the weapons that Arturus has seen fit to carry, and a few other small pouches besides, given his reluctance to wear clothing. (Ismek also, 60 days out from Tinris, uses the deck of many things to get himself a luck blade…identical to the blade Arturus now carries.) Shortly thereafter, he and Arturus play with the deck again. Arturus draws the flames card and yet there is no apparent happening. On his Vistani heritage, Ismek takes this for a bad sign and the cards are put away.

On entering Tinrispace, a devil (an Erinyes) appears aboard the bridge. Ismek gives a hue and cry as the ship sounds an alert. In the melee that follows, the whole of the crew pile onto the bridge as the devil and her two summoned bearded devils arrive. Aika, Ismek, and (especially) Arturus make short work of the three, ending the threat thusly.

Arriving at Refuge, the three ships land and the crew of the Bright star disembarks from the various ships that they travel upon.

Tinris, Season One Epilogue

Two more days have passed and it is the first day of the new year* (specifically the 303rd year of the Era of Law).

The Bright Star lifts, bound for Fawdant with the Captain, Goh, Joshua, Quid, Ismek, Aika, and now Arturus aboard. Arturus is still getting aquainted with the ship, her crew, and the world outside the tower. (The three blink dogs, freed from the Tower, which have taken residence aboard the Bright Star, befuddle him to no end.)

Moz and Gnimish have a plan they want to enact. In cleaning out the tower, an additional scrying device (a crystal ball) was found – Moz has brought it onto the ship with the intention of testing the two scrying devices (the crystal ball and Gnimish’s scrying egg) to see if they will work for long range communication. A test is to be set up to be run right after the _Bright Star _ enters the Phlogiston to see if the devices are capable of peering through the Flow. If successful, Moz wants to see that the Tinrisian navy, or at least its capital ships, have a permanant “seer” position aboard ship, manning the crystal ball each such vessel would be equipped with.

Glorian remains in its tower; Elwood and, ensconced in the library, Gnimish remain as well. Gnimish is compiling a master spellbook from the plethora of books at hand. Over the first few days after the ship’s departure, the Tome of Clear Thought (retained by Gray on his departure) returns to the Tower. Gnimish makes note of this and offers it to Elwood….who finds that the book is in fact cursed (a Vacuous Grimoire) and, resisting its effects, goes downstairs to Gnimish demanding an explanation. Gnimish cracks the covers…and meets with (nearly) the same problem. After loosing the book into the library stacks unintentionally, Gnimish uses his scrying egg to ensure that Gray and Lumbie are okay…and finds that they have grown, very “close.” In the days following, Gnimish takes a break from filling his spellbooks with the reading of the tome of leadership and influence.

On setting down at Fawdant, Moz commisions Quid to the rank of Ensign in the Tinrisian World Navy (in fact, exacts an oath riffed off of the one he took out of her) and places her in charge of receiving “diplomats” in her Keep near Fawdant until the Bright Star’s return. Following, he, Aika, and Arturus tour the two new ships of the Navy (who will be undergoing their shakedown cruise with escort by the Bright Star) while Ismek and Joshua look over the piles of trade goods they will be carrying into space to trade on behalf of the Ilfandrazenaren Trade Guild.

That evening, the crew, the two Captains and their helmsfolk, and all 25 of the missionaries that will be departing with the fleet share a formal dinner. Privately, Father Au of the Barnatím Lawgiver faith discusses with Moz a schism emergent within his priesthood since the return to space began. Some of the Lawgiver’s faithful evidently believe the time is right for a crusade of order across the stars.

The following morning, the three ships set out – the Bright Star, the Mozdanhorzon (the flagship of the new Ertha class spelljamming vessels), and the G0-03-52-E8-F0 Internal Structure Channel 11 (second of that same class), with Moz and Goh respectively aboard the craft bearing their respective names. Moz puts the new ships and their crews through their paces before setting out for the Phlogiston.

Upon exiting the Sphere, a successful test of the scrying devices is performed – wherein Gnimish also discovers his ability to cast spells through the devices by forcing Moz to dance irresistably. The fleet make way towards Refugespace without further delay.

While en route, Ismek finds himself bored by the antics of Aika and Brother Joshua – who have taken to their adult companionship with great enthusiasm – and decides to experiment with his Deck of Illusions. To his consternation, he finds that the cards in his possession are actually the Deck of Many Things. After drawing the Comet and the Moon, he tests his theory that this is not the Deck of Illusions by having Arturus draw from the Deck as well. Arturus first draws the Jester, then opts to draw two further and draws the Balance (thus becoming Chaotic Good) and the Sun (gaining a Luckblade shortsword and growing exponentially in experience).

  • (Note that for bookkeeping purposes, the date of the Tinrisian new year on Spire is 073-324 p.e.)
Tinris, Season One - Episode Nineteen
Season One Finale

In the aftermath of divine visitation, Aika and Brother Joshua adjourn to Aika’s quarters for some much needed physical release and the remaining crew generally fall out for a day’s rest. Gnimish and Goh pair up and head for Gnimish’s quarters in a manner very similar to Aika and Joshua. The remaining crew return to general quarters for light duty.

After a day’s rest to allow the crew to return to their full battle readiness, an all hands meeting is called on the bridge of the Bright Star. Moz is inclined to take only Brother Joshua, Ismek and himself down to face the final conflict against Arvana herself… only to find himself at the hands of a mutiny. Glorian, Goh, and Elwood remain aboard ship while everyone else gears up and readies to plumb the final depths of the Tower. After clearing through a floor by floor sweep, Moz and company arrive at the Gaol on dungeon level five. Explaining that he is proceeding alone on a ‘recruitment mission’, Moz enters the Gaol proper and begins negotiations with several of the prisoners. In exchange for their freedom, they are asked to help in his quest to end Arvana. Thus, a Mind Flayer, 4 Positive Energy creatures (Ravids), 10 Tengu from the Honshonu Valley, a mutant bear from a post-atomic Earth (circa 2471AD), 4 Hound Archons, and 10 Succubi join forces to bring an end to the Tower’s mistress. Also liberated, though very much unintentionally so, an Invisible Stalker proceeds to wait for the Gaol’s main door to be open before ambushing Moz. A full battle royale erupts amongst the archons and the demons, Moz caught in the center and fighting the stalker. After the archons are all put down, the succubi properly cowed and the invisible stalker killed, peace of a sort returns.

And so is formed a motley and unlikely alliance proceed downstairs to the temple of Arvana Sanys. Genuflecting at an altar, upon which rests an Elven woman, a blue clad small creature. After entering the room and positioning themselves for combat, there is no response from either being at the altar. Gnimish unleashes a blast of chain lightning from one of his wands, being rewarded with an otherworldly scream from the blue clad creature, who reveals herself to be Arvana herself in ghostly form.

The crew and their otherworldly allies close in quickly to do battle, only to watch as the archmage’s ghost vanishes into a cloud of temporal energy. Aika moves in on the altar and decapitates the elf thereupon, following that by impaling her as others move in to determine the ghost’s whereabouts. With still no sign of Arvana, Aika discovers a reliquary case ensconced within the altar under the woman’s now mutilated (and exsanguinated) body. In the case, the preserved but dessicated remains of a cat. Determined to have action, Aika rifles the cat’s remains and thus the final fetter holding Arvana Sanys to the mortal realms. Arvana’s time stop ends abruptly and, in a final moment of lucidity, thanks the party for helping her move on. The ghost of the feline whose remains were disturbed drifts up and greets Aika and those standing near the altar. Explaining that she is Arvana’s final familiar and most beloved in life and introducing herself as Cloudstuff, the ghostcat provides a small bit of denouement and fills in some blanks. It was her, in Elven form, that stole the final page of Arvana’s apotheotic tome, hiding it in an effort to prevent her mistress from ascending and becoming a monstrosity of epic proportions in her divine madness. Cloudstuff further details where this final page is hidden, at which time the remaining succubi bolt to find the page while the party digests the information thus provided.

After a moment, and by psionic communication, Moz dispatches Aika upstairs through the hole created by the Sphere of Annihilation in the ceiling to implore Ilfandra for assistance in spiriting the apotheotic book away for safe keeping. Aika quickly flies to do so while the rest fight a delaying action. Aika contacts Ilfandra without delay, securing Her assistance in the matter. She bids Aika to thank the Captain with a big kiss and tucks the book away into thin air. Aika returns downstairs with a divine mandate to combat the demons.

Downstairs, the succubi find themselves greatly harried by Gnimish and Moz while the rest close in for combat. The demons are allowed to escape back to the Abyss with the page, thus completing Moz’s plan for keeping the completed work from falling into anyone’s grasp without great effort.

In the aftermath, the tengu and the mutant bear are offered positions aboard the Bright Star. The tengu decline, and are led to the Gate room upstairs – choosing the pass through the Gate to the plane Lamasery. The bear accepts Moz’s offer and joins the crew.

After clearing back to the ship and offloading equipment, a general call for food goes out and the crew – along with Glorian the construct – return to the Tower and head down to the 6th floor for a meal. The unseen servants promptly provide provender aplenty and the crew’s bear friend eats himself almost into hibernation in short order. During the courses of the meal, Gnimish and Goh investigate the hidden museum again and find that the chessboard is still autonomously playing itself and the miniaturized city is still quite miniaturized. Goh determines that the chessboard still has its attached magical traits and challenges the image of Arvana to a game in return for a wish. She wins and returns the shrunken city to its full sized condition and liberates it, though none among the crew have the slightest idea where it went. Moz determines that the pieces of the board yet live and remain imprisoned and challenges the image of Arvana to a game. Upon winning, he frees the pieces of the board and the board cracks – its magic permanently ended.

Aika and Elwood go to investigate Arvana’s temple on the lowest level, confirming that all is well and also securing a few more magical trinkets. Several groups form and reform and head for the master library on the penultimate floor, whereupon Gnimish finds himself reluctant to leave this wealth of hoarded magical knowledge – some which is truly beyond his ken.

Moz and Brother Joshua make way for the Gaol on the fifth dungeon level and begin to methodically liberate and/or terminate the prisoners therein. A Behir is put down and cut up, a magical bugle of some sort found in its gullet. A Beholder is liberated and its safe liberation secured. A phoenix is also freed. Several slaadi, acting uncharacteristic for their kind, are escorted back to the Gate room and thereafter set loose upon the planes of law. Moz returns to find that the cleaning mechanism for the Gaol had terminated the Beholder before he could return to keep his bargain and escort it to safety. Other creatures were found and put down.

While Moz is attending the prison, he creates a duplicate of himself with the Intrigue Mirror and sends himself off to Fawdant to determine Sumack’s desired course for them. It is determined that the crew will escort two Tinrisian World Navy ships on their shakedown cruise, during which these ships will undertake missionary and trading duties as well as an astronomical survey to determine the feasibility of towing an inert space rock into orbit as a waypost on the borders of Tinrisspace. The duplicate returns without incident and the rest of the crew finish the cleanup of the Tower, allowing several days for rest and relaxation in the newly tamed Tower. Glorian is polled on its desires, and agrees to take basic custodial duties for the Tower while not claiming true ownership.

Tinris, Season One - Episode Eighteen
Day of Two Gods

After a day of hauling the dragon’s horde up 12 flights of stairs into the Bright Star (and Aika jumping off the top of the tower to try out her new wings), the crew collapse into various exhausted heaps aboard the ship and hit the baths and beds as the ship lifts.

The following morning, the ship returns to the Tower and the crew descends upon the Tower (in theory, “one last time”). They make their way to the bedroom / menagerie on the fourth dungeon level (Gnimish det’ magics the various implements on the bed and then sorts the magical from the non-magical. “Just in case.”) before opting to move onto the next floor (skipping over the prison for now though Moz will want to look it over before leaving the last time). Traveling down the stairs, the party exits into a room with a vast number of active planar Gates, each protected (so Gnimish tells them) by equally active walls of force – presumably activated (or not) by the keys and command words that accompany each gate.

Each of the 17 outer planes are represented, as are the four cardinal elemental planes, and both the positive and negative material plane. The party tours the vista displayed within each gate, two of them (Pandemonium and Mechanus) proving difficult for two of the characters (Moz and Goh respectively). There is also one additional gate, right off the entrance, that is tuned to a place called “Lamasery” which appears to be a Tinris-like world, save for the twin purple moons and single yellow sun. Moz suggests it represents a parallel Prime Material plane or perhaps another world on the Prime. The party moves on from the Gate room.

Heading down the stairs (stopping once to confirm that the stairs continue down to but a single other floor – the eighth and, presumably, last dungeon level), the party steps into a vast library. Vast shelves of books await them – the centerpiece being an enormous tome spread across a living treestump in the room’s midst. On the far side of the library exists a venerably old halfling man (with – at closer approach – signs of infernal ancestry) at a desk, reading. The sign on his desk introduces him as Ixa Sanys. The party moves to interact – Moz and Gnimish approaching to speak, Ismek moving into position for flanking, expecting trouble. As Gnimish and Moz speak with Ixa, he explains that he’s trying to finish his progenitor’s life work and attain divinity so that he may return her to life and assist her in claiming her own divinity. Furthermore, he explains that there is a missing page from the massive book which represents all of Arvana’s work on the divine spark and her own ascension and that he’s spent his entire life trying to recreate that one page. Standing ready, and out of earshot, Aika divines that Ixa is evil and should be dealt with – and says as much to, first, Brother Joshua, and thence to Elwood and Quid.

The fight begins when Aika swoops preemptively across the room, over the heads of Moz and Gnimish, and strikes the halfling with her vorpal blade. Reacting immediately to this unplanned fight, Ismek throws a lion (from his newly acquired Back of Tricks) and a Lich (from his Deck of Illusions) into the fray. Gnimish conjures a giant centipede to attack the halfling and Moz moves to flank. Aika is immediately struck by some manner of spell that leaves her without her wits (a Confusion spell, or so it seemed) and the rest of the party is magically Held en mass, save Ismek and Brother Joshua, the latter of which finishes the fight before the sorcerer can finish off the party.

In the aftermath, it becomes apparent that Aika’s sanity has been affected, possibly permanently, as she attempts to hurt herself and then saws into her leg with her own sword before Moz restrains her and Brother Joshua disarms her. As the party searches the room and tries to find what to do for Aika, Gnimish and Goh return to the room’s center to investigate the enormous book. Upon a quick perusal, Moz realizes that the book seems to have great enhancing potential, but follows his instincts and orders Gnimish to try and make contact with the Sphere of Annihilation that he believes to be very near at hand so as to destroy the book. Gnimish does so, quickly pulling the Sphere from the lowest level of the dungeon and directing it at the book.

A flash of darkness occurs just as the book is about to be consumed, and a creature presenting Herself as Eleduna Darkbringer – Tinris’ Planar Deity of Shadows. She explains that Arvana was Her protege, and that the book represents a great investment of effort and energy that would best be put to use on a suitable candidate rather than destroyed. Further explaining that Arvana is caught in a state of unlife on the lowest level of the structure, and that She Herself cannot interfere due to divine contract, Eleduna engages the party in ending this chapter of Tinrisian history. Moz agrees not to destroy the book, Eleduna shrinks and claims the Sphere of Annihilation and then vanishes, and the crew head back to the ship to deliberate on their next course of action.

As people are settling in and the ship makes way to Fawdant to ask for assistance in restoring Aika’s sanity, a Gate opens on the main deck – prompting an immediate action by the crew, who believe the Bright Star’s been boarded. The visitor proves to be none other than Ilfandra Allmother Herself, who apologizes for the actions of Eleduna, who apparently acted outside of the boundaries of divine conduct. Restoring Aika’s sanity with a kiss to the forehead, Ilfandra charged the crew with ridding the Tower of its erstwhile mistress and Aika personally with taking up the banner of Her good works – thus escalating Aika along the path to becoming an angel in her own right. The crew, understandably stirred, agree and Ilfandra Gates back out – apparently to Carisar.

Tinris, Season One - Episode Seventeen
Beneath the Tower of Arana Sanys

The Bright Star returns to Carisar after much discussion; the construct is very child-like and so, at the Captain’s insistence, it will be treated as such. Moz asks the construct if it would like to stay with the ship and crew and is told yes. Thusly, on arrival, Aika, Moz, and Elwood go out into the city in search of toys and books and such things for the being. (Elwood also looks into Arana Sanys at the local library but comes up empty.)

To facilitate, the Bright Star is growing “an interface unit” – in the form of a halfling woman (to better facilitate the imprinting process) over the next four days.

The next seven days after leaving Carisar, the ship takes low orbit, allowing the construct time to figure itself out. Much of it’s time is taken up reading voracious amounts of the “Captain’s Library” (books liberated from the Archmage’s tower). The volume of information it is absorbing is staggering. Four days in, at the construct’s assistance, the crew convenes a meeting to determine a name for itself (owing to a sentiment espoused by Gnimish to the effect of “it takes a village to raise a child”).

Gnimish begins reciting gnomish names (the names of his family, which number over twenty apparently) and Aika begins suggesting names of famous or infamous spacers on whose tales she has grown up with. In the end, the name of one of those spacers and one of Gnimish’s extended family suggest a name for the construct.

The “interface unit” takes the form of a buxom halfling woman with dark skin, and leafy hair. She appears first to the Captain (for, ah, about an hour) and then to the crew – and she takes the construct aside for education and a sort of maternal bonding (though the construct is firm that “she is not his momma.)

On the seventh day, the Captain announces his intention to return to the tower on the morrow and “finish this” expedition….and thereafter see what the Trade Guild wants them to do before heading back out into the Phlogiston, on a run to Spirespace. Afterward, he takes the construct aside and explains what the crew will be doing tomorrow so that it won’t feel abandoned.

The following morning, the crew of the Bright Star (minus the Bright Star herself and the construct of course) return to the Tower and, initially, cover all of the intervening floors (retrieving two of the three training manuals from the library again). On the fifth level however, when rechecking the teleport closet adjacent (for what must be the tenth time) Ismek dives for the teleport circle and – presumably – teleports. However, immediately it’s determined that he cannot be scried (with the scrying egg Gnimish is carrying) and neither Goh, nor Moz, nor the Bright Star herself, can telepathically contact Ismek. Not wanting to abandon him but also not sure that he still lives, Aika volunteers to go after the boy. She steps through and is gone in like fashion. No way is managed to assense her either. From here, Moz leads the party through every possible place they might have arrived, working their way down ultimately to the first dungeon level (again).

Meanwhile, first Ismek and then Aika find themself in a small dark cell without any visible entrance, three (sleeping) dogs, and only a pair of slots in one wall (from size and shape presumably so that food can be slid into the cells – one at halfling and one at about human height). With some work (before Aika arrives in cell) Ismek manages to get one of the slots open – to see a five foot space with only a plain black wall opposite the slot and still no way out. After Aika arrives in the cell, Ismek manages to get his figurine of wonderous power (a small silver raven) to bear a message to the others and put it out the slot in the door.

Over the next hour, the rest of the crew reaches the first dungeon level, scouts what part of it they have not explored (Quid IDs a menhir with some statues and some kind of dynamic magical field but nothing that seems to fit) before they travel to the next level down.

The Second dungeon level is a room with instructions for some kind of game and six pair of wings of flying. The party continues down.

The third dungeon level is simply a door with a name in draconic – Argix Istrana “the Just.” The party recognizes this as a NAME. Not wanting to tangle with a dragon if they don’t have to, they continue down.

The Fourth dungeon level appears to be the last one. It opens into a vast chamber centered on an immense four poster bed. Either wall along the long walls is lined with various creatures in stasis. On each “cell” there exists the name of the type of creature and then, presumably, it’s proper (personal) name. Two of the cells, which should contain creatures of faerie, are empty. From this, Moz and Elwood get an approximate date of how long ago this place was abandoned (likely about 12,000 Tinrisian years!) before finding another staircase going further down. The party follows.

The Fifth Dungeon level is made of walls of force transparently overlaid over the shifting colours of a prismatic wall. A key is present on a table…and a sign, explaining that this is her prison where she keeps her enemies. The key will only permit one person to enter her prison at a time. Moz opens the door to the prison – and is immediately assailed by a frantic silver raven. Now certain of their correct course, Moz follows the creature back to the cell, which he uses the key to open. In the meantime, Aika has been feeding the three now waking dogs – which are revealed to be blink dogs. The trio begin returning back to the prison’s entrance, looking in one of the cells on the way back. An Illithid. Moz leaves it there and they proceed back to the prison level entrance. After a moment to let everyone catch their breath, it’s decided to travel back up to the first dungeon level and begin working their way back down.

On their way back up, the group pauses in the Hall of Paramours long enough for a few things to happen. Ismek investigates Arvana’s bed toys, finding a wearable horse tail on an unusual plug-like device. The toy seems to compel him into using it, only being held short at the last moment by Gnimish’s action. Gnimish shakes the compulsion off more easily and returns to examining the area. Aika, upon spotting a trapped Astral Deva, is entranced and quickly finds a way to liberate it. Azarael Lightborne, the Deva, promptly steps free from his case and sweeps Aika off her feet – quite intent upon carrying her to the nearby bed for some form of sexual congress. Aika resists and the Deva’s compulsion is revealed as it continues to try and force her into an act of lust. Moz intervenes with a bit of an assist from Brother Joshua, bringing the creature up short by use of advanced logic in an attempt to break the enchantment on its mind. After it shakes clear of their puzzles, Aika invokes Terr Lightblade’s feather to try and end the gambit. Terr Gates in promptly, and without a word the enchantment on Azarael’s mind is removed. The two Gate back to Celestia without delay – liberating and vanishing the remaining creatures from their long imprisonment and leaving in their wake a pair of angelic feathers in thanks for Aika’s selfless actions. The crew continue upwards.

Upon returning to the first underground level, the group carefully picked their way across the river’s stepping stones and made their way to a set of standing stones. En route, both Moz and Ismek notice a path through the nearby rocks which leads East. Ismek decides to slip away unnoticed while the rest continue to the menhirs – within which stand a trio of petrified Elves, one male and two female (the females appearing to have frozen in the midst of spellcasting) Ismek discovers a sleeping Unicorn, resting quietly in the company of a Dire Lion, and decides to rejoin the group without disturbing the creatures. Meanwhile, Gnimish has discovered that by carefully applying a mirror to the webbing of arcane magic which seems to keep the Elves stoned, he can restore them. Doing so, he finds that the female Elf which he had just freed had been in the middle of casting a Baleful Polymorph, and thus Gnimish was turned into a weasel. Goh frees the other female more carefully while the first returns Gnimish to his normal form. The second female unleashes a storm giant into the clearing, quickly realizing that the fight she and her fellows had been engaged in was long over. Upon freeing the male Elf from his bondage, the trio explain that they are ranking members of the Gathering of the Green – lost to this world millenia ago when they had come to investigate and put down the atrocities of the Tower’s mistress, Arvana Sanys. After being brought up to speed, they left – taking with them the Unicorn and Dire Lion, their animal companions.

The group continues down and finds the antechamber for what seems to be a flying race. Aika quickly dons a set of white wings, Ismek not far behind with a pair of gold wings, then Moz with red, Gnimish with blue and Brother Joshua with black. After an exciting and harrowing chase through a course of floating platinum rings, Aika earns her wings permanently as the magically treated wings merge with her body. The group rubs their bruises and continues down further.

The next door is marked with a Draconic name, Argixistrana the Just – believed to follow the naming conventions of silver dragons. Entering carefully, the crew find just what they’d expected – a great wyrm silver dragon resting on a tremendous pile of coins, gems and trinkets. Deeply sleeping, Argixistrana fails to notice the group for some time, thus allowing a careful inspection of the room’s wards and protections. A powerful abjuration is found to rest under the dragon’s sleeping form, Moz proving the only person capable of discerning it. Thus it is that Moz, along with Ismek at first, approach the slumbering beast and bring it to wakefulness with their proximity. She proceeds to explain quite sleepily that she was one of Arvana’s favored lovers and was trapped here by her millenia previous. The dragon decided to sleep and wait for someone to free her, and Moz agrees to do so. Brother Joshua enters the room and she agrees, with proper officiation by this member of the Ordocar Order, to render unto the group her hoard in exchange for her freedom. Moz begins digging into the coin bed while the dragon continues talking, until the captain finds the outer edge of a emerald sigil. Striking the spell’s visual component – still unseen by anyone else – with his axe, he is struck in return by a highly dangerous bolt of magical lightning. The spell broken, Argixistrana changes shape and thanks the crew – promptly proving to be a creature of her word by Gating out to Celestia and leaving her hoard behind. Moz contacts the Bright Star to inform of the latest developments, and she agrees to fly quickly to a settlement to secure extradimensional storage sufficient to the task at hand, namely hauling an entire hoard to the surface.

Tinris, Season One - Episode Sixteen
the Ironbody

The crew of the Bright Star return to the tower of Arana Sanys and, per usual, cover the previous floors first, top to bottom. Then the characters commit to investigating the remainder of the teleport maze. The party breaks into groups of two and transit their way through until, eventually (some hours later) the whole of the party arrives on the far side in the “smoking lounge.”

Aika (& Elwood) free the two Lantern Archons bound within by removing them from the chamber. Terr Lightblade, the Solar they had freed on their first expedition within the tower, Gates in and offers Aika a key (that will only work for her) that will open a portal to the Heavens should she ever wish it. The Solar then disappears back through his Gate as the next group of characters arrive.

In searching the far chambers, the party finds the Book of Exalted Deeds (!), an Egg that seems to duplicate the effects of a crystal ball, and an additional Manual on golem creation (Iron golems, in fact). Once the whole party is present, they penetrate the last room where Moz and Ismek had previously found an inanimate golem of strange design. This time, as Gnimish approaches it, the golem animates.

“Are you my mommy?”

The golem quickly makes it clear that it’s memory and personality are very much nascent and that it is a blank slate. Unsure of what to do, Aika, Goh, and Gnimish are moved to try to get it to come with them. Moz consults with the Bright Star and the party (now with an unnamed Living Construct in tow) begin making their way back through the teleport maze and, ultimately, back up to the ship.

Moz’s thoughts at this particular time? “The moment someone names it, it’s crew.”


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